A quick guide to soft skills in call centres

What are soft skills?

The term ‘soft skills’ relates to an individual’s capacity to interact effectively and agreeably with other people. In the context of a call centre, soft skills can be the key to the success of your agents.

Those with good soft skills will be able to handle and control their calls effectively, build a good rapport with customers and ultimately get those all-important sales.

For some soft skills come naturally, but others have to continuously work hard to improve their communication and listening skills. To help you get the best out of your agents we have put together this quick guide to improving soft skills.

Call handling best practice

  • Good rapport with the customer
  • Multi-tasking, type whilst talking & listening, while performing other tasks too like printing
  • Do not, under any circumstances, interrupt the customer – wait until they finish what they are saying
  • Use the customer’s name
  • Under promise and over deliver – set the customer’s expectations and then exceed them
  • Use the phonetic alphabet when possible to avoid needless confusion (see below for more information on this)
  • At the end of the call, summarise everything that you have agreed and confirm both you and the customer are happy
  • Empathise with the customer and their situation
  • Always show enthusiasm

Call handling bad practice

  • Inconsistency
  • Stationery or documentation not to hand
  • Not taking complaints seriously, or intentionally annoying the customer
  • Putting calls on hold without permission
  • Wasting time during pauses
  • Using jargon, swearing, slang
  • Interrupting the customer
  • Not applying Data Protection rules
  • Unenthusiastic

Phonetic Alphabet

The phonetic alphabet is a very important communication system that all call centre agents should be expected to know and use. It helps during scenarios where you have to spell something out or confirm the details given by the customer e.g. their name or address details.

Below we have outlined the phonetic alphabet in full which you can use for reference.

  • A – ALPHA
  • B – BRAVO
  • D – DELTA
  • E – ECHO
  • G – GOLF
  • H – HOTEL
  • I – INDIA
  • J – JULIET
  • K – KILO
  • L – LIMA
  • M – MIKE
  • O – OSCAR
  • P – PAPA
  • Q – QUEBEC
  • R – ROMEO
  • S – SIERRA
  • T – TANGO
  • V – VICTOR
  • W – WHISKY
  • X – X-RAY
  • Y – YANKEE
  • Z – ZULU


Here at BA Tech we specialise in improving the efficiency and profitability of call centre’s via intelligent and highly functional software and hardware solutions. For more information and to learn more about how we can help your business get in touch today or request a call back: